2020 has been the year of bonds linked to sustainability criteria, with an increase of more than 40% in issues of this type. This trend has continued throughout 2021, demonstrating that, beyond greenwashing and fads, there are companies that are truly committed to the criteria that make up the now much talked-about ESG acronym, which encompasses environmental, social and good governance aspects. Not only investors but also agents involved in this type of transactions, such as ESG rating agencies or sustainability coordination agents – as PKF Attest – are increasingly committed to this type of financial instrument, as we understand that there is nothing more profitable than a company that strives to care for and improve the environment through its day-to-day actions.
In this sense, Grupo Pikolin is an excellent example of its commitment to the environment and to good deeds and, since it launched the initiative “Pikolin Sostenible” in 2019, it has demonstrated its responsibility towards production processes, products and people. This strategy has been reflected in its activity in the capital market, in which PKF Attest Capital Markets AV has had the pleasure of collaborating on multiple occasions.
Following the Bond Programme and the subsequent issuances of sustainability linked bonds, all of which were registered with MARF, the framework that includes the Group’s sustainable financing strategy was decided to be extended in order to broaden its scope of application. Under this extended framework, backed by a favourable opinion (SPO) from Vigeo Eiris (the independent provider of ESG services, which belongs to Moody’s rating agency), Grupo Pikolin renewed last April its Commercial Paper Programme registered with MARF, granting it the status of Sustainability-Linked and thus positioning itself as a pioneer in achieving these milestones. Both the framework and the SPO are available on Grupo Pikolin’s corporate website (https://www.pikolin.com/es/corporativo/acerca-de/).
The company closed 2020 with 3% growth in sales, reaching 379 million euros, and the EBITDA amounted to 28.6 million euros, which represents a growth of 29% compared to the previous year. Finally, the net financial debt to EBITDA ratio closed at 2.24 times. This shows that the sustainable strategy, far from being compromised with the Group’s business performance, both are fully aligned, and show a significant improvement in the last year.
Although it is true that, according to data from the Bank of Spain, placements of bonds linked to sustainable criteria represent only 8% of the total issuances in the Eurozone, we believe that great steps are being made in this area, especially in terms of education and understanding of these products. We see a promising future in this field, and we encourage innovation and adaptation to new investment trends that are more conscious and committed to the planet and our values.